Playa Linda good, but

by Scott ⌂, Mérida, Yucatán, Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 22:00 (3897 days ago) @ StreetGlide

Mexico has a 16% value-added sales tax. It is supposed to be applied to almost everything, so there is absolutely nothing unusual about seeing it added to a receipt. If you look closely, you'll see the IVA tax on just about any formal receipt you get. Where you get away without paying it is in the informal economy. Not everyone in Mexico collects and remits the sales tax like they're supposed to. Usually the IVA is included in the price you see on the menu or tag on an item at a store, then broken down on the receipt to show you the amount of IVA that you paid.

It is also standard practice where I lived in Mexico to automatically add the propina or service charge to the bill. If you see that, then you don't have to leave anything else. Tipping isn't really a long-standing Mexican custom, it is something that has been brought there by tourists. So they add the service charge because if they don't many or even most Mexicans won't "tip" them. At the restaurants in Morelia it seemed that white people usually didn't get a (typically 10%) service charge added, but whenever I was with Mexicans, then usually the bill had the 10% on there. They don't usually add the service charge for foreign tourists because they think the tourist will tip more, 15% or even 20%, not knowing the local custom.

So basically I'd say don't worry about it. The only really bad thing was telling you the tip wasn't included already, but if you knew what propina means then you should have realized that it was. Maybe there was a misunderstanding?

Basically they charged you the 16% sales tax + 15% service charge. Paying 5% more than locals kinda sucks I guess, but it doesn't sound like you got ripped off too badly.


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